The first stage of the hike around Middlebury starts at the local college on South Street, right next to the baseball pitch close to Porter Hospital. Well placed signs make it easy to find the trail so you should be soon on your way heading west towards the college's golf course. Now pass route 30 and get to Colin O'Neil Class of '97 Trail, which was named after a group of students, who made the trail accessible that year. The last part of this stage leads you via route 125 to route 23. Along the way you will be able to enjoy the idyllic sourroundings of forests and pasturages. The destination of this stage is Weybridge on route 23, approximately 7,4km/4,6mi away.
In Weybridge continue the hike south of route 23. First walk 2,4km/1,5mi north until you reach the junction on route 125 in Middlebury village. Now pass the street and climb on a small ladder above the fence surrounding a cow pasture. Keep follwing the signs until you reach a small ravine with a small stream. Now continue north alongside the river until you get to Hamilton Road, where you turn right and after 200m you will reach Johnson Trailhead and a parking lot on the left.
Passed a sheep farm continue towards a small pond, which is surrounded by a former damp biotope , therefore you should be walking through there carefully not to miss the diverse species of birds that live there. Afterwards walk north along a fence until you get to another small pond. Walk right around that pond to get into a forest. Now continue east towards Otter Creek at Gorge Trailhead, which is located at Horse Farm Road.
Reaching Otter Creek continue further until you reach the junction crossing Hamilton Road. Now follow the fence again for a little while into the woods, where you will find some different hiking trails. Don't get confused, simply keep following TAM. Soon you will cross a small bridge, which will get you into the nature preserve area around Otter Creek and Wright Park. A narrow path will now lead you to a small pond, from where you start heading towards Belden Falls. While you walk upstream alongside the shore you will be able to enjoy a great view upon the ravine of Otter Creek. Now follow the signs of TAM further through the south part of Wrights Parks afterwards cross Otter Creek to get on Beldon Falls Road. On that road keep going until you have the possibility to turn right. Do that and continue your hike alongside Wright Park.
When you get to Wright Park Trailhead follow the tarred road along the river until the road makes a left turn and passes into Elm Street. Elm Street now crosses route 7. You continue on High Street and Seminary Street to eventually get on Springside Road. From there cross Chipman parking and reach an enclosure. Pass this enclosure and continue towards Chipman Hill, where you will have a great view across the surrounding area. After some time you will get to Washington Street within the so-called Means Woods. Keep going for a couple more metres on Means Woods Trailhead and cross the main road to get onto Battell Woods. Again you will get to an enclosure. Now hike through the woods until you get to Battell parking on route 7. At route 7 turn left and keep walking on the road for a couple of minutes until you get to the next trailhead back on TAM.
Keep walking towards Middlebury Union Middle School and get via Middle Road and Creek Road back to the foot of Otter Creek, which you cross via a bridge. Passed an old boat house you will soon get to a railroad crossing and afterwards onto South Street, the starting point of the tour.
Where to eat
Since you will be mostly hiking around Middlebury you will have various opportunities to get food along the way.
- With an overall length of 16 miles the hike is among the 3 longest hikes in the USA available on TouriSpo.
- Trail around Middlebury (TAM) is among the 5 best rated Hikes in the USA.
- Sturdy hiking boots are recommended on this track. If you get hungry along the way, there are places to rest and get food. Nevertheless it’s recommended to also have enough water and food in your backpack when hiking or biking.
Highlights of the tour
Special about the hike around Middlebury is the beautiful landscape, which consists not only of the nature reserves but also the historic part of the city, that is definitely worth a visit. The trail holds many surprises and things to discover therefore even experienced hikers shouldn't get bored.
Another highlight is the river Otter Creek with its ravines, which are an extraordinary experience you won't forget.
Furthermore there is Chipman Hill, which will offer you a great view across the beautiful surroundings.
If you don't want to walk the whole 25km/15,5mi of TAM you can also walk individual stages. There are many trailheads with available parking spots located along the TAM from where you can start the tour.
This tour is one of the longest in that area, so we recommend you wear sturdy shoes.
The starting point in Middlebury is located about 2,5km/1,6mi from Montreal, is accessible from Boston and Hartford in about 4 hours and in 5 hours from New York. From Philadelphia you can get to Middlebury in about 6,5 hours by car.
Starting in New York first take I 87 north and take exit 20. Now follow route 149 towards Glens Falls until you reach Route 4 in Whitehall, which you follow towards Vermont. Then take exit 4 towards Castleton and continue on route 30 towards Middlebury.
Starting in Connecticut take I 91 north towards Springfield/Ludlow and take that exit. Afterwards continue on route 103 and change to route 7 towards Ruthland north directly to Middlebury.
Starting your journey in Maine take I 95 south towards Exeter till you take the exit towards route 101 west towards Concord. Now take I 93 and I 89 to get to Vermont and take exit 1 in Queechee to get via route 4 to route 7 towards Ruthland, which you follow north right into Middlebury.
Another option to get from Maine to Middlebury is to stay on I 89 and to take exit 3 in North Bethel. Afterwards take route 107 west until you reach route 100 and afterwards route 125, which leads to Middlebury.
In Massachusetts simply take route 7 to Middlebury. In Middlebury itself pass the white church and turn right towards route 125. Shortly after St. Mary's church you will see a college on the left.